See the possibilities in life changes

By Marie Snider

There was a time many years ago when we “knew what was what.”
For instance, when I grew up, there were 10 families living within a one-mile radius around our farm. Our parents were friends and we children went to school together and had the same teacher—Miss Peck—for all eight grades, and nobody ever moved.
My children, on the other hand, moved five times before the oldest was 11. One move was 1,800 miles. And they had a different teacher for each grade.
Much later, I bought exactly the same shoes from friends Dick and Barb McCall for about 20 years. A Rockport walking shoe and a Naturalizer wedge dress shoe, in every colour imaginable: bone, white, black, navy, and even red.
Then Dick and Barb retired and closed their local store, as well as the ones in a neighbouring city. So for a few years, I bought my old faithfuls from catalogues and then on-line. Now, to my dismay, both have been discontinued.
Last week I sent a column describing Warren Buffett as the richest man in the world. That was true at the time I did the research for the column because in March of this year, Bill Gates had slipped to third place when Microsoft stocks fell.
But this week, Forbes magazine once again designated Gates as top dog.
The difference between $50 billion and $57 billion may not seem very important (after all, what’s $7 billion between friends). But still, the truth is that Bill Gates is now richer than Warren Buffett.
Unfortunately, change is the name of the game in the 21st century. Neighbours move and stores come and go at an alarming rate. Established financial institutions fail and people lose their jobs. And the people who have jobs want to change jobs.
Pastors leave their churches and parishioners change churches. Young people leave their home towns and older people move to retirement communities—sometimes hundreds of miles from familiar places and faces. And just when you find a helpful product, the company discontinues it.
Most of us don’t like change. But change is always happening in every aspect of our lives, says Cheryl Perlitz in her book “Soaring Through Setbacks.”
Many changes are inconsequential, but sometimes life’s changes are huge. Says Perlitz, “We perk along day-by-day, hour-by-hour, doing the very best we can. . . . We are walking along, zigging and zagging, and then . . . the mountain appears.”
Perlitz is a serious mountain climber and she also knows about difficult mountains in life. She wrote her book, “Soaring Through Setbacks: Rise Above Adversity, Reclaim Your Life,” after she had a series of major losses in her life.
She says that change tests the human spirit in the same way mountain climbing tests endurance.
“Climbing the mountain is about trying new things, seeking new adventure, and expanding your life,” says Perlitz. “The adventure attitude allows us to climb our personal mountains with positive attitude, energy, and creativity.
“It allows us to see possibilities in the impossible,” she stresses.
So, as you face the small and large mountains that life puts in your path, try to see the possibilities. And always remember that change is not only an ending, but also a new beginning.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist.
Write her at or visit

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